Student Posters

Most STEM Program undergraduate student researchers must create final posters as part of their semester capstone project or to present at a national conference, such as NCUR or SACNAS. Below are the instructions and guidelines for students posters, as well as blank poster templates, logos, and other downloadable media.

Poster Templates

Most of the posters should be in one of two formats, 36″x24″ or 48″x36″. For printing purposes, we recommend that students create their posters in PowerPoint (or a PowerPoint compatible program) at half-size. The posters will be printed at 200% to reach the dimensions mentioned above. Students can download the templates for either size via the links below:

Students need not follow the template exactly and are free to change the format as necessary for their particular poster. The only aspects of the poster template that must remain unchanged are the dimensions of the poster template and the title format (title, name, faculty advisor, Kapi’olaniCC).

Logos

Additionally, all posters will require the logos of sponsoring organizations. For most students, this will include Kapi’olani Community College, the STEM Program, and the organizations responsible for holding the conference or workshop (such as the National Science Foundation, NCUR, INBRE, and SACNAS). For the most part, we recommend that students use .GIF formats for logos as they allow for transparent backgrounds and can be used on posters of any color. Below are links to logos that are commonly required on STEM undergraduate research posters:

The following logos can be downloaded from the sponsoring organizations official website:

Instructions

Poster Design Instructions

Download the directions in PDF format.

Although the directions below give lists of acceptable alternatives, such as other file formats and poster dimensions, we highly recommend that students use the PowerPoint poster templates above to design their posters.

  • Acceptable file formats
    • .ppt (Microsoft PowerPoint, 1997-2003)
    • .pptx (Microsoft PowerPoint, 2007-2010)
    • .pdf
    • .jpg (the above three formats are preferable, but .jpg is acceptable in certain circumstances)
  • For posters made as part of a course assignment or for undergraduate research projects:
    • Maximum poster print size = 36” wide by 24” high
      • Minimum size 24” wide by 16” high
      • One side of the poster (either the width or the height) must always be 24”
    • When designing the poster on a computer:
      • Set the page size to 18” wide by 12” high (half the size of the actual print size, the print size will be set to 200% when printing)
      • Designing the poster in half size makes printing much easier and faster (due to the smaller file size)
    • Backgrounds
      • No photos are allowed to be used as background images for an entire poster\
        • Photo backgrounds use too much ink and are too difficult to print
      • No dark, solid backgrounds are allowed (for the same reason as photo backgrounds)
      • Light colors or backgrounds that are primarily white are preferable
  • For posters for a conference:
    • Maximum poster print size = 48” wide by 36” high
      • Minimum size 24” wide by 16” high
      • One side of the poster (either the width or the height) must always be either 24” or 36”
    • When designing the poster on a computer:
      • Set the page size to 24” wide by 18” high (half the size of the actual print size, the print size will be set to 200% when printing)
      • Designing the poster in half size makes printing much easier and faster (due to the smaller file size)
    • Backgrounds
      • No photos are allowed to be used as background images for an entire poster
        • Photo backgrounds use too much ink and are too difficult to print
      • No dark, solid backgrounds are allowed (for the same reason as photo backgrounds)
      • Light colors or backgrounds that are primarily white are preferable

Poster Printing Instructions

Download the directions below in PDF format.

  • Poster Settings
    • Easiest to print in PDF format, but can also be printed as a PowerPoint file
      • Adobe: Resolution=2400 dots/inch
      • Width x Height=24×18 inches
        • Use these same dimensions when creating your poster in PowerPoint
        • The final print will be inflated to 200%, which will give final dimensions of 36×48
  • Printing Settings
    • Print at 36 inches (width) by 48 inches (length)
      • This is because the printer cannot print 48 inch width
      • Maximum length of shortest side is usually 36 inches
  • Printer Info
    • After turning on, first press “form, feed, and cut”
      • This trims the paper edge
    • Line the paper up with the blue guide line
  • PDF Program Settings
    • Go to properties (in the print window)–>advanced–>post script custom–>dimensions
    • Leave the layout unchanged
    • Page layout
      • Uncheck “enable scaling”
      • Uncheck “rotate”
      • Layout view: Best indicator of the print end result
        • Poster print should be edge to edge width-wise
    • Print preview: Should be 36 inches by 48 inches
      • Print should be at 200%
        • Because poster should have been made at half size
      • Page scaling: Fit to paper
  • Printer (after print has been started)
    • Printer should say “processing PS”
    • Usually takes at least10 minutes before the printer will actually begin printing
  • Other notes and suggestions
    • Better to use GIF and PNG files for pictures on your poster
      • This is because these file types have transparent backgrounds
        • Allow for pasting pictures on various background colors
      • JPEG will not be transparent, so try not to use JPEG’s
      • Use only GIF files for all logos if possible
    • Adobe image ready has been a convenient program
    • Easiest method to begin making the poster is by first creating a PowerPoint poster template
      • Also, when converting from PowerPoint to PDF, make sure you have a custom conversion setting to maintain the proper resolution and dimensions
        • These settings must be made in both PowerPoint and the conversion software
    • For smaller student projects/posters, a final printed poster dimension of 24inches x 36inches in recommended
      • This will save ink and paper
    • Also, the use of white or light colored backgrounds for posters in encouraged whenever possible
      • This is a good way to avoid a lot of pixilation
    • Try to use very high quality pictures, diagrams, etc.
      • Low resolution images look even worse when printed at very large sizes
      • Do not compress images
      • Try to embed images whenever possible
    • For the PDF, it is sometimes easier to have it sideways (rotated 90 degrees), so that the poster is on its side
    • Different types of paper
      • For most uses, flat paper regular coated paper is more than sufficient
      • Higher quality paper, such as semi-gloss or photo paper, should only be used for signs or posters that will remain on display for a long period of time